US missiles hit hoax target

US television channel “CBS News” reported that teams which have searched the site since the fall of the Iraqi president have found no trace of the bunker or any bodies.

 

US fighter planes hit the Dora Farms complex in southern Baghdad with bombs and cruise missiles on 20 March.

  

"When we came out here the primary thing we were looking for was an underground facility, or bodies, forensics," CBS quoted Colonel Tim Madere, the head of the search operation as saying.

  

The search team only saw giant holes created by the bombs but no underground facilities or bodies.

  

CBS said it was the first news organisation to visit Dora Farms. It reported that every structure in the compound was destroyed except the main palace, which was hidden behind a wall topped by electrified barbed wire.

 

Intelligence failure

 

The windows of the palace had been blown out and the place was in a shambles. But anybody who could have been in the house could have survived, the report said.

  

The US Air Force dropped four 900 kilogramme bombs on the site because intelligence said there was a bunker complex hidden beneath the buildings. But Madere has yet to find it.

  

The compound has been searched three times, once by the Central Intelligence Agency and twice by Madere, who is trying to find traces of Saddam Hussein’s DNA to see if he has been killed.

  

The fate of the Iraqi leader and his family remain unknown.

 

After the raid, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld insisted that the strike had been "successful". Other military leaders said that if Saddam Hussein had been in the bunker he would probably have been killed.